Remembering John Gonzalez


This panel is 3 feet by 6 feet, which is the average size for each panel on these quilts. This quilt is composed of 8 panels which are all 3 x 6 feet. This panel is located on the far bottom right corner.

The block number of the panel is #584, out of over 5,000 other blocks. This panel was submitted by John’s mother in July 1988. The NAMES Project started in 1985, therefore it is evident that this panel was submitted when this project was still fairly new.

This quilt is made up of several colors, prominently navy blue, red, yellow and white. I will give more details as far as where exactly you see these colors on this quilt. I will start off by giving a complete overview of what this panel looks like, then I will give details surrounding the picture in the middle of the quilt. Following that I will describe the borders of this quilt.

This is a quilt commemorating John R Gonzalez.

Visual Art

This quilt has a background , inside the borders, of a navy blue felt material. It feels as if you are touching soft wool. In the middle of this quilt there is a red heart made of that felt material. Inside of that heart is a photo transfer, a 5 x 7 inch picture of John. At the bottom point of this heart there is a white with royal blue lining badge like image that reads “CHICAGO POLICE DEPT.” along with the number 12 inside.

Above this heart, is an algerian like font, reading “John R Gonzalez”. Above his name you’ll find 7.12.69- 3.5.88, which indicates his date of birth and date of death. On the sides of the heart are two hands holding one rose in each hand. It looks as if someone has white gloves on, holding these roses.

On each corner inside the borders you find something different.

In the upper left hand there is a representation of a white hat and yellow glasses up under the hat. It is portrayed as one object, as if someone has on the glasses and hat simultaneously. Along with small white letters that once said “2 good 2 be 4 forgotten”.

In the upper right hand corner there is a red football, on the surface of it there are small white letters reading “Wilson 84 City Wide Champs”. There are figures up under the football. from left to right: blue figure running, yellow figure running, pink figure kneeling, black figure catching, green figure kicking, red figure walking.

There are six yellow and black, bee resembling, buildings on the bottom left corner, that get shorter by 1/2 inch. These  buildings are sitting on top of shiny, blue and turquoise material. A material resembling parachute pants.It feels like you’re touching  Above these buildings are small white letters spelling out ” Chicago Johns’ Home Town!”

Closer look at parachute pants material.


Here is the pattern of the border, along with some messages written.

The borders are about two inches wide before getting to the blue background. This border is made up of 86 rectangles with  a pattern of white, pink, white, turquoise, white, yellow, white, fuchsia and then it repeats. On some of the rectangles there are messages from people that loved John. Some messages are written with a black marker and are more visible to the eye. Some messages on the bottom border appear to have been written with a light black pen, which didn’t show up as prominently as the marker.

The stitching towards the outer sides of the border are small, with white thread. The stitching towards the end of the border going into the navy blue background has white thread and appears in a zig zag form.

Loose threads

As stated before this quilt was made in 1988, so around the border there is some white thread that has come loose.



#chicago #police #roses #football #commemoration #1980s